A number of games have been released where the idea and plot (on paper) looks incredible and captures your interest before playing the game - but when the title is fired up, the whole thing just comes crashing down.
Saber Interactive’s Inversion is a case in point. The game is good, but its execution lets it down.
The graphics are good enough to warrant a second look, but as we will discuss a bit further, there are some elements that spoil the overall experience.
The game centres on Davis Russel, a hot-headed cop, and Leo Delgado, who battle the evil Lutadore enemies. But these are not ordinary foe, as they possess special gravity-controlling weapons which can either make things heavier or lighter.
As the game progress, players will come into possession of one of these gravity-controlling weapons, called a Gravlink, which they will need to use throughout the game’s story to access areas, move objects around and even kill enemies with it. The Gravlink is also the main attraction of the title, as it allows players to manipulate all sorts of objects and people.
The concept of the Gravlink is great and could have worked out well if the controls to the title were slightly more refined. Speaking of which, the controls (while using the standard configuration of FPS games) are a bit sticky. Aiming feels slightly weird and the option to semi-lock on to targets is more of a hit-and-miss than anything else. The camera is also a bit sensitive, as it will be easy for players to over-compensate when looking around.
The controls tie in with the title’s mechanics, which at times work well, while it fails at others. Most of the environment is pretty much destructible, which is great for exposing crouching enemies, but that does not help a great deal if the hit detection is off. It is almost as if enemies take the same amount of damage when shot in the chest as to being shot in the head. It is also amazing that players will be able to demolish a concrete pillar with on two or three shots, but an enemy will take a lot more before they go down.
But back to the plot: the fierce Lutadore has invaded Davis’ home town and started cause havoc with all the citizens. Being a police officer, Davis takes it upon himself to rid the world of the monsters – but all does not go according to plan. In a quest to reach his apartment where his wife and daughter should be, he realises that his child is not there. The main plot of the title surrounds Davis’ search for his daughter, while going through a number of difficult situations.
While the title is perfect for a Sunday afternoon when there is nothing on television, there are two things that make the title almost unbearable – bugs and voice acting. Besides for the dodgy controls and excruciatingly-average graphics, the title is riddled with bugs, such as the sound fading in and out sporadically (or disappearing all together), the character being stuck in the crouch position or taking longer than usual to load.
Speaking of loading, before players will be able to start any level, the game needs to cache first, which is highly annoying. It’s expected that when players select a game, that it will go through a small loading process and be ready to play. Inversion chooses to cache first before the player can select Continue, and then loads a bit.
Another irritating aspect is the voice acting – it sounds stiff and often forced, which breaks away from the spirit of gaming. Players want to hear fluid conversations and natural progression, not a conversation that sounds rehearsed.
As we mentioned earlier, Inversion is not a complete flop and should be checked out by the curios, but just be prepared to deal with a number of issues that might spoil the flow and presentation of the title. It falls into the category of games that is good to play when there is absolutely nothing else to do on a Sunday afternoon.
Our rating: 6/10
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor